War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0226 COASTS OF S. C., GA., AND MID. AND EAST FLA. Chapter XXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

MARCH 10, 1863.- Reoccupation of Jacksonville, Fla., by Union forces.

REPORTS.

Numbers 1.- Brigadier General Rufus Saxton, U. S. Army.

Numbers 2.- Brigadier General Joseph Finegan, C. S. Army, commanding District of East Florida.

Numbers 1. Report of Brigadier General Rufus Saxton, U. S. Army.

BEAUFORT, S. C., March 14, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that the expedition which I sent up the Saint John's River, Florida, consisting of the First Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, Colonel T. W. Higginson commanding, and a portion of the Second South Carolina Volunteers, under Colonel Montgomery, captured and took possession of the town of Jacksonville on Tuesday, the 10th instant. As I stated in my last report to you, the object of this expedition was to occupy Jacksonville and make it the base of operations for the arming of negroes and securing in this way possession of the entire State of Florida. It gives me pleasure to report that so far the objects of the expedition have been fully accomplished. The town is completely in our possession and many prisoners. There has been constant skirmishing going on for several days, and in every action the negro troops have behaved with the utmost bravery. Never in a single instance can I learn that they have flinched. It is my belief that scarcely an incident in this was has caused a greater panic through out the whole Southern coast than this raid of the colored troops in Florida.

The negroes are collecting at Jacksonville from all quarters. There is a great scarcity of muskets in this department. I have endeavored to procure suitable ones for the troops under my command without success. If ample supplies of Springfield muskets, smooth-bore, with buck and-ball cartridges, could be obtained it would be of the greatest advantage for this peculiar service. I am convinced that the enemy will attempt to drive us from our position at Jacksonville. He can only succeed by the failure of our ammunition. I was obliged to send the expedition with only 50 rounds of ammunition for its artillery, a limited supply, but I was unwilling to delay the expedition until supplies could be obtained from the North.

I beg leave respectfully to report that I have great difficulty in obtaining suitable arms from the ordnance depot in this department.

It would, in my humble opinion, be of great advantage to the service if an officer could be sent here to report for your information upon its condition.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. SAXTON,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

Numbers 2. Report of Brigadier General Joseph Finegan, C. S. Army, commanding District of East Florida.

HDQRS. PROV. FORCES, DISTRICT EAST FLORIDA,

Camp near Jacksonville, March 14, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that on the 10th instant I